Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Crisis in Development Studies
• Free Marketers
• Postcolonial Thought
o An alternative to development
o “Deconstruction of colonial”/western thought
How western writer were portraying the colonized people (people of the GS)
Basic argument: way GS was understood was permeated with western bias and thinking
(so distorted by western assumptions)
Most colonial thinkers that whether it’s consciously intentional or not, it was an effective
way of exercising power over the GS
Task of postcolonial thought was to look at what was said and lay bare the biases and
western assumptions behind western thinking
Main Concerns of Postcolonial Studies
• How did the colonizer gain control of the colonized?
o The generation of the knowledge of the GS
• How did colonization shape the culture knowledge, identity of the colonized?
• How do race, class and gender function in the thinking/writing of the west?
o Most colonial writer tried to explain knowledge was fused as a control.
• Franz Fanon
o Psychiatrist. Published in the 19 century.
o Basic idea: the west generated understanding of the GS and succeeded in imbuing the people
Knowledge and Power
• Edward Said, Orientelism (1978)
o Michel Foucault (post colonizers drew many ideas from Foucault)
Well known French historian, post-modern
Knowledge as inseparable from power
Local elites eternalize the idea and it makes it easier to maintain power
Challenge to universalism and essentialism
• Widely accepted idea, same ingredient and factors. Process of development in
critique of modernization. Dependency has some notions of universalism in the
assumption that all people want to strive to material wealth.
Cultural perceptions as a means of control
• Generate perception of particular place and succeed by presenting something and
have them accept it as neutral knowledge
• Causes western experience superior
Challenged western concept of “development”
• Has driven all of the policies and interventions in the GS by the GN, has not
produced development. Something that needs to be rejected
• Arturo Escobar, Encountering Development, 1995
o Focuses on the professionalization of development and the institutionalization of the development
o People working for development organizations
Manifestation of western thinking, which is presented as western knowledge POLB90
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Result hasn’t been too disastrous. Generated thinking about development
o Discourse constructs reality.
Think and write about development. Knowledge generated by west about development.
Drives what the west think is appropriate
• E.g. western thinkers describe certain things to be problems that need to be
solved. (Poverty, productivity.)
o The importance of the “local”
Important ingredient in casting off western thinking
• Deconstruct Western (masculine) knowledge
o The male bias in western development thinking. Two problems: western bias/assumptions and
male bias. Two together are at the heart of problems with post developments.
• Colonialist and masculine discourses are intertwined.
o Double whamming, makes the knowledge generated about the GS particularly problematic.
• Gender as socially constructed
o Gender identity is constructed through lived social experience. The definition of a man and a
woman varies from society to society.
o Imposed the western notion of gender and what constitutes development onto GS societies.
o Woman involved in unpaid labour, the development in their country wasn’t happening. Didn’t
play an important role in the economy of the GN. Development thinker assumed the same
process. Has subordinate role in the household.
• Influence on Development thinking and practice
o Male experience as universal
o Gender relations the same everywhere
• Gender, Race, Class and Western Feminism
o Very much intertwined. Were critical of west feminism. Notion that wester